Short of the Week

Status Update – a Facebook fairytale

In a world where every loser is pretending their life is awesome on Facebook – Allan Kasvotski’s status updates are suddenly coming true [NSFW].

The ever increasingly popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter has seen them become a popular subject for the basis of films, both short and feature length. Whether its the story of how Facebook began in David Fincher’s Social Network, a cautionary tale of online romance in Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s Catfish or watching a relationship fail over Facebook in Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg’s short fiction Noah, social media is fast becoming the film industry’s new favourite muse. The latest to tackle our growing obsession with status updates sees Australian filmmaker Daniel Reisinger provide a fresh take on the ‘wishes do come true’ narrative with his brazen comedy Status Update – A Facebook Fairytale.

With a fantastical narrative revolving around a lovesick employee who suddenly finds anything he puts in his Facebook status coming true, Reisinger’s film follows Allan Kasvotski on a hilarious journey as we discover how he puts his new found power to use. Penned by writing duo Dantie van der Merwe and David Fraser, the concept for Status Update was inspired by an ongoing battle between the director and his friends to see who could secretly alter each others Facebook status with the most outrageous message. Possibly making Reisinger’s short the first ever ‘frape’ inspired film (although I’m happy to be proven wrong if this isn’t the case).

Although this comedic production is bound to grab audience’s attentions through its lewd humour and Kim Kardashian jokes, this isn’t a film to be easily written off as content over style. The filmmaker and his team going to great lengths to ensure this is a short high on production values, as well as laughs. With a shoot lasting just over three days, Reisinger explained to me via email how they spent months fining tuning the impressive FX work – “The montage alone took 5 different motion graphics people 4 months to finish. A full year of post for 10 minutes, I often joke I could’ve made a feature in a shorter amount of time.”

With a comedy’s success measured through its LPM (laughs per minute) ratio, Status Update rolls out smutty joke after smutty joke with tales of shiny genitals, Facebook sex and unexpected friend requests. Although the humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, connoisseurs of the darker side of comedy are bound to really enjoy the brand of humour on show in Reisinger’s film.

Having recently completed its festival tour, in which it won the Special Jury Prize at the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival, 2013 even saw Status Update granted a screening at its spiritual home, Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley.

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Editor on Short of the Week | Cohabiter on Directors Notes | Communicator at @kung_fuelvis
  • Philip Kidd

    wth did I just watch? Cool/funny/weird as hell

  • Dan Reisinger

    bahahah thanks Phillip. we take our dick jokes very seriously!

  • kung_fuelvis

    Who hasn’t made a pen is / penis spelling error!

  • jim albert

    great short ! but i just wish the character would have lost all his facebook friends the moment he wrote such a stupid and gross status about aids and Africa…

  • Dan Reisinger

    hey jim. fair comment. There was a lot of debate about that status right up to the last second. Ultimately our writers are from Africa and we decided that it was a joke confronting a sad truth about the world that it is massively endemic in that part of the world. don’t think too badly of us. it wasn’t done flippantly.

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    Excellent, fresh sense of humor. Small bit of criticism would be that the final scene was a touch too long and lost some of its comedic impact due to timing.

  • jim albert

    thanks for your answer Dan, please no judgments at all ! i have a lot of respect for your piece of work. I was having a really good time watching this short and this little thing suddenly put me out of it.

  • Dan Reisinger

    Hey Andrew. Interesting. Do you mean the bit when they first get to the island?
    I agree it’s not the most entertaining bit of the film. This is why it is that length…

    I do a lot of test screenings and we found that we needed to leave bit of time in there to make everything work after it.

    The great thing about film is it is so subjective. Generally I would have to say the ending has played really well to festival audiences. THanks for the nice comment and I’ll take your thoughts onboard. Cheers, Dan

  • Dan Reisinger

    Hey Andrew. Interesting. Do you mean the bit when they first get to the island?
    I agree it’s not the most entertaining bit of the film. This is why it is that length…

    I do a lot of test screenings and we found that we needed to leave bit of time in there to make everything work after it.

    The great thing about film is it is so subjective. Generally I would have to say the ending has played really well to festival audiences. THanks for the nice comment and I’ll take your thoughts onboard. Cheers, Dan

  • Theophilus D Herdcore

    Brilliant imaginative work. A big shiny penis of a film. Thanks Dan. What’s up next for you?

  • Theophilus D Herdcore

    Brilliant imaginative work. A big shiny penis of a film. Thanks Dan. What’s up next for you?

  • Effie

    Brilliant job! This kind of humour would have knocked out all others comedies in the market. :)

  • switchy

    Very good, script was tight & very funny (although it had that coarse aussie touch haha). Especially, I think the Actors were really on it. Great casting. The male co-worker character was done really well as was the lead. Again I would agree the ending wasn’t the strongest point but overall was very very well done. Would definitely check out more from the team involved. Had me lauging out loud…so job done right!?

  • Dan Reisinger

    Hey switchy. thanks for the feedback. Funny the ending has always destroyed in screenings. But there you go film is a subjective art form. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Dan Reisinger

    Many thanks Effie. We definitely have the niche sewn up for leaking pen comedies. ;)

  • Dan Reisinger

    Pumped you enjoyed it Theophilus! Next up we’re in the last stages of post on our pilot. It’s a show about gym douchebags and it’s called Clean&Jerk

    Check out:
    facebook.com/cleanandjerk

  • Dan Reisinger

    PS Aaawesome name dude!

  • Sho

    Why put “Satanic Images” between 2:43 and 2:48 minutes? Why?!

  • Sho

    Why put “satanic images” between 2:43 and 2:48 minutes in? Why?!

  • Dan Reisinger

    Hey Sho, We were trying to suggest something evil and supernatural was happening to his computer. Cheers. Dan

  • Iris

    apart from the film being hilarious, i thought it was so funny to use random facebook photos of the crew with the credits!!

  • Dan Reisinger

    Thanks Iris! Glad you liked that. Those end credits were done in such a rush. It was fun going through people’s photos to find the right one!

  • Gary Nock

    Great stuff, wonderful little film, brightened up my day no end. Good luck with it

  • Gary Nock

    Great stuff, wonderful little film, brightened up my day no end. Good luck with it

  • Dan Reisinger

    Thanks Gary. If you dug it you may also like my pilot I just finished. Check out facebook.com/cleanandjerk

  • Double A

    I find that the Kardashian thing is getting really, really old. The film was really dressed up, but with references a bit too mainstream and slapstick, I thought. I prefer the NOAH approach, where the social media’s self-reflexive aspect is considered under a bit more scrutiny

  • Dan Reisinger

    Fair play double A. We were worried about the Kardashian stuff too originally. But thankfully she keeps doing dumb shit to keep her current. Cheers, Dan

  • Nayoung Jin

    cool!!!